Noakhali's only factory for making hilsa nets and yarns has closed due to reduced demand. In December last year, the owner was forced to close the company in the face of continuous losses. 450 workers working in the factory have become unemployed. Along with that, nets and yarn worth about one and a half million taka remain unsold in the factory. In this situation, the unemployed workers are living an extremely inhumane life with their families.
It is known that M/s Farid Industries Limited started a factory in Begumganj Bisik Industrial City of Noakhali with 25 machines for making hilsa nets and 8 machines for making yarn. Where 450 male and female workers are employed. There are four other officers along with the manager. Since its establishment, yarn and netting worth about Tk 7 crore were produced every month from this factory. The company was later re-activated after a bit of a standstill due to the impact of Corona. But at present the company is in trouble due to reduced market demand and inventory of manufactured goods. Currently 33 machines are closed one by one. 450 workers working in the factory are in trouble and their employment is uncertain. Officials of the company say that if the demand in the market increases, the company will come back to life, but they do not know when that will happen.
It is known that the company talked to the officers and employees in Sarzamin, M/s Farid Industries Limited was launched as a subsidiary of Farid Group of Industries in the month of October 2011 at a cost of Rs. Where about 65 lakh taka worth of machines and equipments are brought from abroad for making nets and yarns. From that month, 150,000 kg of yarn and 100,000 kg of hilsa net were produced from this factory every month. Per kg yarn was sold at Rs 180 and per kg mesh was sold at Rs 400-450. Which was running till February 2021. Since March 2021, the production has been decreasing due to reduced demand in the market.
Some officials of the company said that raw material for making yarn is brought from Dhaka and Chittagong. After bringing it to the factory, it is first processed into yarn and then into mesh. The net made from this company is sold through dealers in all sub-regions of the country including Noakhali's Hatia, Companyganj, Chittagong, Teknaf, Dhaka, Chandpur, Barisal, Bhola, Ramgati, Alexander and Barguna from its head office in Comilla. These nets are especially used for hunting sea fish including hilsa.
According to the accounting department of the company, every month the company has to pay Rs 26-27 lakh for the salary of 450 workers, a manager, an accountant, a cash assistant and a storeman. In the factory, the machine needs 400 liters of water per day, the market price of which is 14 thousand taka, and the water required is 3 lakh 78 thousand taka per month. The electricity bill comes to Rs 5 lakh per month. But since the beginning of last year, the production in the factory has decreased, but the cost has not decreased. One machine after another started shutting down since March. 1 machine was running every day for some time since the beginning of last December. Which was closed at once from January 1 of this year. The employees have already left the factory. At present, the store of this factory has 9 thousand 50 kg of yarn and 31 thousand kg of mesh, the market value of which is about 1 crore 49 lakh 59 thousand taka.
A worker named Nurul Islam said that he has been working on the yarn machine in the factory for 8 years. If the production of the company was good, he would get paid on time every month. Sometimes you get extra money if you do overtime.
But since the last year, the demand for nets in the market has decreased, so the production has also decreased. He is currently unemployed despite having paid half of his salary for the month of December. He expressed frustration thinking about what to do now after leaving long-term employment.
Two women workers named Mitu and Kulsoom Akhter said that after coming out of the machine, they were working to clean the net. They are in trouble as the production of the factory has stopped. It is difficult to get a job in any organization suddenly.
Khorshed Alam and Ruhul Amin, wholesale net sellers in Chaumuhani market of Noakhali, said that they are the wholesalers of hilsa nets in Choumuhani, apart from this, hilsa nets are also sold in two companies named Bhai Bhai Hadwar and Sonali Hadwar in Sonapur market.
They also said that about 2 crore fakes were sold every year from each company. But as the amount of fish in the river decreased towards the end of last year, fishermen are not going down to the river to catch fish like before. Due to which the use of nets is less, the waste is also less, so the fishermen do not need to buy new nets. If enough fish could be caught in the river, the use of nets would be high, so the fishermen would have to buy new nets every year. It also increased the sale of nets.